Fresh Start for Lacrosse

October 1, 2006
Proven winner: over twenty-one years, Danowski's Hofstra teams compiled a record of 192-123

Proven winner: over twenty-one years, Danowski's Hofstra teams compiled a record of 192-123. Brian Ballweg Photography

John Danowski, a national lacrosse coach-of-the-year winner whose teams won eight conference championships at Hofstra University, has been named the new head coach of Duke's men's lacrosse team.

Danowski, the father of lacrosse All-America Matt Danowski '07, will take over the program from Kevin Cassesse '03. Cassesse became interim head coach after Mike Pressler resigned in the wake of the controversial rape investigation that led to the indictment of three team members. Danowski's appointment was unanimously recommended by an eight-member committee following a national search.

Danowski is entering his twenty-fifth season as a collegiate head coach and was honored in 1993 as the NCAA Division I National Coach of the Year. He spent the last twenty-one seasons at Hofstra, compiling a record of 192-123, with eight conference championships and NCAA tournament bids.

With an overall record of 219-139, he is among just eight active head coaches in NCAA Division I men's lacrosse to have won at least 200 games. Under Danowski, Hofstra student-athletes who completed their eligibility graduated at a rate better than 90 percent.

Athletics Director Joe Alleva and President Richard H. Brodhead praised Danowski's character and integrity and his ability to bring out the best in his players. As the father of a Duke lacrosse player, Danowski already knows many of the players and their families, as well as the issues facing a team that had its season cut short amid scandal a year after making the NCAA finals.

"As we look to the future," he says, "we know that our performance will not be measured solely in terms of wins and losses. Yes, we will compete for championships, and I hope to win one next year. But I also will insist that our players act consistently in a manner that brings honor to themselves and the university."